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October 24 2021 7:02 AM ˚

Colombia boosts troop presence on border with Venezuela

caracas
(Photo: Pixabay)
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BOGOTA— Colombia said Monday it was sending 300 troops to the border with Venezuela after five soldiers were killed in a rebel attack that Bogota claimed was planned on its neighbor's soil.اضافة اعلان

The soldiers died Saturday in an attack executed jointly by fighters from Colombia's last remaining rebel group, the ELN, and dissident FARC guerrillas who have rejected a 2016 peace deal with the government.

President Ivan Duque said the attack with explosives, rifles and machine guns in Colombia's eastern Arauca region had been "planned from Venezuela."
Caracas denies the claim.

On Monday, Colombian Defense Minister Diego Molano told reporters the country's military presence on the border would be reinforced with 300 soldiers.

Two Colombian soldiers were abducted in Arauca last Friday, according to officials.

Colombia has seen a recent spike in violence — driven by an estimated 2,500 dissident fighters from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) battling over drug trafficking routes and illegal mining locations with the ELN and paramilitary groups.

Colombia and Venezuela have not had diplomatic ties since 2019, when Colombia joined the United States and other countries in rejecting Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's disputed reelection, recognizing opposition leader Juan Guaido instead.

The neighbors share a border of some 2,200 kilometers.
Bogota has repeatedly accused the Venezuelan government of harboring FARC and ELN fighters, a claim Caracas denies.

Maduro, for his part, points the finger at Duque over alleged coup and assassination plots in his country.

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